Sometimes, though, there is a clear right and clear wrong. Sometimes things really are as simple as good versus evil. What happened in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend wasn’t two sides equally culpable. One side carried torches, and marched while shouting slogans like ‘Jew won’t replace me’. They were accompanied by a heavily armed militia, they chased a black man into a parking lot and nearly beat him to death, they surrounded a black church and terrorized the occupants who were praying inside. One of them hit the accelerator on his car and plowed into a group of people, killing one young woman and injuring 19 others, a few of them children. The other side? The worst you can say about them is that some of them had sticks, baseball bats, and bottle rockets and stood their ground. And yes, they were angry and ready to take a stand. The same stand that was taken by our military in 1942, when Americans fought alongside the allied forces to expunge the Third Reich from the face of the earth. The same stand any decent human being should take when confronted by those who would celebrate the genocide of six million Jews and call monuments to the enslavement of countless black Americans a cherished part of their history.
To suggest these two are equivalent, that the side that committed murder and terrorized people, the side that believes that anyone who is not white and Christian should be expelled from the country or, worse, destroyed, is equivalent to those who tried to stop them, is a moral outrage. It is like saying the Jews are in part responsible for the holocaust, or that the people in the twin towers are responsible for the attacks on 9/11. They are not. To suggest otherwise is to give credence to hate. It is giving respectability to evil.
When the President of the United States, the man who is supposed to be the moral compass of our country, stands up and suggests that both sides are at fault, we have lost our moral compass. We have lost our right to say we are a great and moral country, we have lost our standing as the shining city on the hill.
There are many good people in America. Most of us are appalled by the actions of the so-called ‘Alt-right’ neo-Nazis and white supremacists. We need to stand up to this evil. We cannot be still. If the president cannot join in the fight, if he cannot lead us to the moral high ground, then he must be taken down. It really is that simple.